Are you looking for a good court reporting service then you need to follow the appropriate selection criteria? Here you will have two different schools of advice- first which will tell you in evaluating the court reporting services while the second will encourage you to evaluate individual court reporters. Below is a list of selection criteria that will help you to choose a good court reporter as irrespective of the reputation of the court reporting service ultimately it is the reporter’s quality which will leave you either dissatisfied or satisfied with the hiring decision. As per organizations and law firms which contract with the court reporting services, the selection criteria fall under two groups which should be applied on your list of prospective court reporters namely basic skills and reputation and exceptional professionalism.
- Basic Needs- Though different legal proceedings need court reporters of different proficiency standards, but every court reporter has a basic need which starts with state certification. It is a state certification which will throw light that a court reporter has undergone a certification test which attests to her/his knowledge and skills of court reporting. Here another critical need is to have a minimum speed to type 200 words every minute. Depositions though can be lethargic but can be fast paced when the witness speaks quickly along with giving long answers. The third essential need is to have research and computer skills. Resting on the reporting type required, a court reporter should have specific research and computer skills which other reporters lack. Last but not the least they should have proofreading and editing skills. Before delivering a transcript, a court reporter should perform editing and proofreading to ensure the cleanliness and accuracy of the transcript. Anyone these days can claim to have proofreading and editing skills, so it is better to make sure that the development of such skills is a part of the official training of the court reporter. To know more about court reporters, visit Naegeli Deposition and Trial.
- Reputation and Exceptional Professionalism-Often organizations and law firms do not give much importance to the demeanor and character of a court reporter. Though reporters hardly interact with a witness, their respectfulness, professionalism, and degree of poise do have a bearing when it comes to the deposition’s quality. Just as attorneys and judges are not immune to prejudice, adversarial thinking and bias neither is a court reporter. Apart from interrupting a witness potentially and sabotaging the line of questioning of an attorney or misportraying the nonverbal behavior of a witness, a court reporter that does not have the required professionalism will become a technical nightmare when it comes to the reporting process. Right from reaching the depositions in a completely unprofessional outfit to reaching late to late delivery of transcripts, a court reporter that is not professional can do it all. Judging the professionalism of a court reporter will be an intelligent step to investigate his past work history without relying on a court reporter’s demeanor as assessed by the agency.
Often relying on a court reporting company to provide the real assessment about their court reporters is likely to backfire. For best results conduct your own evaluation before hiring the services of a court reporter.